Carbon Monoxide

Columbus Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyers

Caring representation for Central Ohio victims exposed to CO

Produced by burning gasoline, charcoal, wood, propane, or other fuels, carbon monoxide, or CO, poisoning can occur if it builds up in the bloodstream. Too much CO in the system causes your body to replace the oxygen in your blood cells with carbon monoxide, which can result in tissue damage or death.

Carbon monoxide, according to the Mayo Clinic, is colorless, odorless, and tasteless – which makes it extremely difficult to detect. CO can accumulate to dangerous or deadly levels in confined spaces or improperly ventilated spaces such as garages, appliances, fireplaces, and engines. For example, charcoal grilling indoors is very dangerous. At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus carbon monoxide lawyers represent victims and families when property owners and others fail to protect the people who live in or use their properties from carbon monoxide poisoning.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The Mayo Clinic identifies the following signs and symptoms of CO:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Dull headaches
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Carbon monoxide poisoning is especially hazardous if someone in Central Ohio is sleeping or intoxicated. Victims can suffer irreversible brain damage before recognizing there’s a problem. Many CO exposures are deadly. Inhaling smoke from a fire can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 430 people die in the US from accidental CO poisoning and nearly 50,000 people need to go to a local emergency room every year.

What are the risk factors for carbon monoxide poisoning?

The Mayo Clinic states that the following factors increase the risk of serious or deadly CO consequences:

  • Unborn babies are more susceptible to CO poisoning because fetal blood cells take up CO faster than adult blood cells.
  • Young children breathe more frequently than adults do, which increases the risk of CO poisoning.
  • The elderly are more at risk to develop brain damage than younger people.
  • Anyone with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems is at a higher risk for trauma if they inhale CO.

Many workers are at a higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, including firefighters, mechanics, police officers, highway workers, welders, and chemical workers.

Complications from CO poisoning include permanent brain damage, heart damage, fetal death or miscarriage, and death.

What steps should Columbus property owners take to reduce the risk of CO poisoning?

Common precautions include:

  • Installing carbon monoxide detectors. The detectors should be located near each sleeping area of a home, hotel, or another residence. The batteries should be checked at least twice a year.
  • Open the garage door before starting a vehicle. Don’t leave your car running in your garage – especially if the garage is attached to the rest of your home.
  • Use gas appliances for their intended purpose only. For example, don’t use a stove to heat your house.
  • Appliances and engines should be properly vented. These items include space heaters, charcoal grills, furnaces, cooking ranges, water heaters, portable generators, wood-burning stoves, car engines, truck engines, and fireplaces.

Generally, the likelihood of CO poisoning increases when the weather gets colder.

What is the treatment for CO poisoning?

Your doctor may order a blood test.  The primary treatment is to get as much fresh air into your lungs as soon as possible. Victims and friends or family should call 911 if CO poisoning is suspected. At the hospital, the Mayo Clinic states that treatments may include:

  • Breathing pure oxygen. The ER staff may place a mask over your mouth and nose so you can breathe pure oxygen. In some cases, a machine (ventilator) may breathe for you. The breathing helps oxygen reach your organs and tissues.
  • Spending time in a pressurized oxygen chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used. “This therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a chamber in which the air pressure is about two to three times higher than normal. This speeds the replacement of carbon monoxide with oxygen in your blood. “Hyperbaric oxygen helps protect heart and brain tissue, which are particularly vulnerable to injury from carbon monoxide poisoning.”  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also an option for pregnant women because unborn babies are at higher risk for CO complications.

Who is liable for CO poisoning in Columbus?

At Soroka & Associates, our attorneys file personal injury and wrongful death claims against all responsible defendants. The defendants may include the following:

  • Property owners including landlords, hotel owners, and motel owners.
  • Companies that install the products that release CO, such as HVAC companies.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers of products that release CO if the products are defective.
  • Repair and maintenance companies contracted to install CO detectors but fail to do so properly.

Property owners and businesses that install and manage products that might release CO should take proper safety steps, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. These recommendations usually require that:

  • Any products that burn fuel should be vented properly – such as through open doors, windows, and the chimney.
  • The products should be kept clean and free from improper pressures.
  • Certain chemicals should be avoided.
  • The recommendations should also include a warning that carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.

Our investigators will normally work to show:

  • A room, garage, or other space did have carbon monoxide which likely caused your injuries or the death of a loved one.
  • How the carbon monoxide traveled from the source to the victim.
  • That the CO caused your injuries or the death of a loved one.

What Ohio laws govern carbon monoxide?

Ohio has specific laws governing carbon monoxide safety requirements for residential care facilities:

Each residential care facility licensed prior to the effective date of this rule with a permanently installed fuel-burning appliance(s) shall, within twelve months of the effective date of this rules, install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms or carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with manufacturer's directions. Each residential care facility licensed on or after the effective date of this rule with a permanently installed fuel-burning appliance(s) shall install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with [the] manufacturer's directions.

Carbon monoxide alarms or carbon monoxide detectors (regardless of the license date) shall be installed in:

(1) Each room containing a permanently installed fuel-burning appliance; and

(2) A central location on every habitable level and in every heating/ventilation/air conditioning zone of the building.

Do you have a carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer near me?

The Columbus office of Soroka & Associates is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. Our office is conveniently located near I-71 and Rt. 23. We do meet victims at their homes or other locations if they are ill or immobile

Speak with a respected Columbus carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer today

If a loved one died due to CO poisoning or you were a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, our Columbus personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to help you obtain justice. At Soroka & Associates, we work with professionals and doctors to help show the defendants are liable and that the CO poisoning caused severe harm or death. Call us at 614-858-3744 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We handle carbon monoxide poisoning cases on a contingency fee basis.